First up, and most unhappily, it didn't make me want to build a workbench any more than I did before. i.e. Not at all. I'm just not convinced that your "Roubo" didn't go out of fashion for darn good reasons. The not-really-Nicholson just screams "You will curse that apron each and every time you have to fumble beneath it to pop up a bench dog". The wide-spread Continental/European workbench design didn't take off for nothing, I'm convinced. It's not easy to build, and frankly if the factories wanted a material-cheap, easy to build and transport bench, the Nicholson variety would have been a better choice.
In short, I like my hopeless Euro bench with its thicker sides and mere 2" central section. I like its tail vice (that doesn't sag). I like its dog holes handy to the front edge. I like its sturdy beech construction. I like its knock-down design and its sled feet that won't wick up moisture from the concrete floor like end grain will.
But like every other bench ever made, (and why there is no perfect bench, and why Chris is, in my opinion, doomed to make benches for the rest of his life - or until he comes to his senses) my Schwarz-unfriendly bench has flaws. It does, it's true, totally suck at holding boards on edge. And the face vice has been annoying me for ages, because the end cap has shrunk towards the back, so the left corner of the rear jaw is fractionally out of line. It's a small thing, but you'd be amazed how irritating it can be.
So I'm going to give the behemoth a refurb. I'm going to make it a board jack, if I can work out how to get a rail for it far enough out. If not, even some holes along the front will at least be something.
And I'm going to replace the front vice.
Yes, you know where I'm going with this. But look, the darn thing will be smaller than the existing front vice. See?
You've still got time to talk me out of this, but I took the existing front vice mechanism off. Just to have a look...
Okay, so a couple of dog holes are going to die horribly, but on the other hand look how the lovely people at E C Emmerich have practically done half the work already. The only annoying bit is having to break into the tool tray (I didn't mention how I like my tool tray too, did I...?). But I have some beech knocking about, and I'm sure I can fill in with the necessary to tidy up.
So there we are, that's how it's looking at the moment. Like I say, I haven't done anything terminal yet, so by all means fill up the comments box with impassioned argument as to why this is a Bad Idea. But for those readers who want to see me suffering in the making of a bench, bear one thing in mind.
If I do this, and screw it up - which, let's face it, is not beyond the bounds of possibility - I could well end up building a bench anyway...